Winter Kayaking Lake Superior, Michigan

kayaking lake Michigan

A sea kayaker paddles through ice floating in Lake Superior near Marquette, Michigan. Photo: Aaron Peterson

Kayaking Lake Superior, Michigan

Just because the bustling, outdoorsy, Upper Peninsula city of Marquette, Mich., is buried in an average of 10 feet of lake-effect snowfall each winter doesn’t exclude it from being a stellar location for cold-weather sea kayaking. Local American Canoe Association instructors Nancy Uschold and Sam Crowley paddle Lake Superior until the pack ice arrives in mid to late January. Then they’re amongst the first on the water when Old Man Winter concedes to the bluebird days of March. Uschold’s favorite winter destination is the six-mile stretch of coastline between Presque Isle and Little Presque Isle, just northwest of Marquette. The area boasts classic Lake Superior coastline—rocky islands, coves and beaches—buttressed by the towering 800-foot hills of Partridge Island and the mainland’s 1,100-foot Sugarloaf Mountain. As winter progresses, north winds and waves sculpt massive, cave-riddled ice cliffs along the shore. “The magic of winter on Lake Superior are the ice formations,” says Uschold, “and the dynamic nature of the season.” — CM

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